One of the most common discussions you will see on the message boards is “What is the optimal DPI for FPS?”
This question tends to bring up a few different opinions and suggestions from people. However, there are a few “definitive” answers that we can give to help keep your DPI stable while you are playing different kinds of games.
First thing is first, let’s give a brief explanation for what these terms even mean:
- DPI – DPI means “Dots Per Inch”
- FPS – FPS stands for “First Person Shooter”
We will break these terms down a little bit more within the rest of the article. First, we will give you the answer to the question: what is the best DPI for shooters?
- What Is The Best DPI For Shooters?
- First Person Shooter Games
- What Is DPI In Gaming?
- High DPI, Low Sensitivity
- Our Suggestion For Best DPI For FPS
- It May Seem Strange For A While
- High DPI or Low DPI: Monitors Matter Too
- Frequently Asked Questions About Gaming & DPI
What Is The Best DPI For Shooters?
Most people believe that the higher the DPI of a particular mouse, the better it is for all sorts of gaming. This is usually one of the first specs that people look at when they try to find the best mouse for a specific game. However, that isn’t always necessarily going to be the case in every situation, for every player, for every game.
Not all FPS games are the same, so it is a bit of a subjective question. Most FPS games are played as co-up games, multiplayer games, and some are single-player games. Many hardcore gamers will play all three types, but some people will only play one type.
Your performance in the game will depend on how your mouse performs when you do play these games. The mouse largely contributes to some of the most important aspects of your performance: aiming, moving, and shootings. Aiming and movement are directly impacted by the DPI of your mouse.
For movement, a higher DPI is almost always suggested. This is because a higher DPI means that you don’t have to make such wide movements with your mouse to get movement in the game. You will find that your speed increases and your gameplay. It will decrease the amount of hand strain that you feel as you play for longer periods of time. Overall, a mouse with a higher DPI will increase fluidity and decrease any residual pains.
For aiming, you need to have a lower DPI. A lower DPI means that you need to move your mouse more when you are trying to move around in the game, which allows for more precision when you aim. The gun’s crosshairs will be able to move smaller, more incrementally, and therefore you can be more precise. If you tend to overcorrect and skirt around your target, it might be better to get a mouse with a lower DPI.
As you can see, the answer is complicated. A lot of it comes down to what type of games you play and how you play them. It is such a touchy subject that it could even come down to different characters within the same game. For example, a character that sprays bullets with a certain gun may not need the precision, so you want to have a high DPI so that you can move faster. However, if you are playing in a sniper game, you may need something that has more precise aiming.
The best mouse DPI for shooters is subjective in so many ways. Anyone who tells you that there is a definitive answer hasn’t thought through all of the possibilities. This doesn’t even begin to mention that there are different mouse sensitivity settings within each and every game that you play.
So what can you do? How can you pick one mouse that is the “best”?
Most users will do something that we call a “360-degree test.” This is a test that allows your mouse to move in one direction until the character you are using makes a complete rotation on the screen. You will be able to get a good feel for the sensitivity level of the in-game setting slider. Usually, you will find that the best DPI setting for FPS falls somewhere between 400 and 800.
First Person Shooter Games
First-person shooter games are a bit different from TPS games, and therefore require a completely different experience. TPS refers to “third-person shooting,” or when the camera is behind the protagonist, usually at a specific angle. Users will be able to see the entire body of the character as well as the entire weapon.
The difference between the two makes it necessary for a different type of mouse. When you are playing through the eyes of the character, you will have a more narrowed view. You may have to move around more to turn the head of your character. Often, this makes the game harder for most people to play.
What Is DPI In Gaming?
When you are playing a shooter game (whether it is FPS or TPS), your mouse is your best and most important tool. If your mouse isn’t working in your favor, you will not be able to play your best. If it lags, you will likely die quickly. If it is too fast, you may strain your hand. DPI is a measurement tool for mouse sensitivity, and you need to find the “happy medium” in terms of sensitivity. You don’t want to move your mouse around too much, but you want to have enough movement that you can make fine-tune adjustments.
In other words, the number of pixels your cursor moves on screen for every inch you have to move the mouse in real life.
Sometimes, you will see “Dots Per Inch” referred to as “Counts Per Inch” or CPI, but this is increasingly rare.
High DPI, Low Sensitivity
A high DPI mouse can actually be set to low sensitivity, which means that the movement and the detection will be the same so that the movement will be smoother. You will have to read reviews so how these settings impact performance, as it won’t be the same for everyone.
Higher DPI mice are better suited for bigger monitors and displays, like the ones that are often used for gaming systems. You don’t want to have a higher DPI setting when you have a laptop. On 4K monitors, you want to have a higher DPI mouse or you will have a noticeable travel time as you move the mouse across the screen.
Our Suggestion For Best DPI For FPS
For most FPS players, the best mouse sensitivity is a lower DPI. Truthfully, there isn’t a universal answer. However, most people who play a competitive FPS, no matter how they play, should not use a mouse with a higher DPI.
There are a few primary reasons for this:
1. Lower sensitivity will allow you to be more accurate and precise as you play;
2. Lower sensitivity can help you to avoid overshooting your target when you play.
You need to think of it this way: when you need to target one particular thing, you want to be able to make specific, small charges.
It May Seem Strange For A While
You need to understand that when you start playing around with the DPI, you will struggle for a while. You won’t be able to adjust to it with your eyes, brain, and hands right away. You need to practice with these new settings for a few days before you will know if they are good for you. Don’t adjust the mouse a few times in an hour.
Moving around too much won’t allow you to move around between sensitivities. It won’t only be your performance, however. You will also need to adjust your arm movements. You want to allow your body to settle into the movements as well. It can help if you buy a bigger mousepad that doesn’t require you to self-correct.
Of course, you also want to think about your natural enjoyment of the game. You will need to judge how far and how fast you need to move your arm around, and being comfortable with these adjustments will greatly impact your enjoyment of the game.
High DPI or Low DPI: Monitors Matter Too
The problem is that you cannot answer this question for every game, for every player, or for every situation. Higher DPI mice are better for gaming on bigger screens, and therefore most gaming systems. Laptop games and displays that are shorter and generally not suited for a mouse with a higher DPI.
Frequently Asked Questions About Gaming & DPI
There are some other questions about FPS games that go hand in hand with this discussion:
What is the “Polling Rate” and is there a best Polling Rate for FPS?
“Polling rate” is the number of times a mouse reports the position of the cursor to the computer. You will usually see this listed on the specs list or highlighted in the box. It is the number that is measured in Hertz (Hz) per second. For every Hertz, there is a report generated to the computer about positioning. For example, if something has a polling rate of 500 Hz, this means that the cursor position is reported to the computer 500 times in a second.
A higher polling rate means that the lag between the movement of the mouse in your hand and the movement of the cursor on the screen is lowered.
However, you need to note that a higher polling rate means that the CPU uses a much higher processing power than a typical mouse will use. Of course, there is some debate as to what the best polling rate for FPS is. Most will agree on a number somewhere between 600 Hz and 1000 Hz. In general, we think that the higher the polling rate, the better it is: just as long as your CPU is good enough to process it.
What Is The Average DPI For FPS?
As mentioned above, we would suggest a DPI of between 400 and 800 for most first-person shooters. Some people will want to go lower or higher, it really just depends on how you play and what you play. On average, DPU should be around 600 and then you can adjust lower or higher depending on how you play.
What Are The Best Mice For DPI?
There are some mice that are better for DPI than others. In general, you may want to consider the following gaming mice:
- Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum
- Logitech G502
- Razer DeathAdder Elite
- Logitech MX Vertical
- Corsair Ironclaw RGB
- Logitech MX518
Of course, there are plenty of other mice on the market that you should consider.
What Is The Best DPI Setting For Fortnite?
Fortnite is a popular game that uses FPS in a battle royale setting. It is also a game that requires a certain amount of skill because some people are really good at it. Others are not. This means that the right DPI settings for you could be anywhere from between 400 to 1000. If you are experienced at the game, the lower DPI will probably be the better answer for you. If you haven’t played the game before, you want to crank the DPI up as much as possible.
If we go back to the main question of “What is the best DPI for FPS?” there isn’t really an answer. This is something that we cannot definitively answer for you. We can tell you that the range will probably be somewhere between 400 to 800 DPI.
Now, the same thing can be said about all first-person shooter games that can be said about Fortnight: if you are just starting out, you may want to go to a higher DPI and then gradually lower it as you get better at your games.